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How Sustainable Are Benefits from Extension for Smallholder Farmers? Evidence from a Randomized Phase-Out of the BRAC Program in Uganda

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Listed:
  • Fishman, Ram

    (Tel Aviv University)

  • Smith, Stephen C.

    (George Washington University)

  • Bobic, Vida

    (George Washington University)

  • Sulaiman, Munshi

    (BRAC Institute of Governance and Development)

Abstract

Many development programs are based on short-term interventions, either because of external funding constraints or because it is assumed that impacts persist post program termination ("sustainability"). Using a novel randomized phase-out research method, we provide experimental tests of the effects of program phase-out in the context of a large-scale agricultural input subsidy and extension program operated by the NGO BRAC to increase the use of improved seed varieties and basic farming practices among women smallholders in Uganda. We find that while supply of improved seeds through local, BRAC trained women declined, demand does not diminish, and farmers shift purchases from BRAC to market sources, indicating a persistent learning effect. We also find no evidence of declines in the practice of improved and less costly cultivation techniques taught by the program. These results have implications for both efficient program design and for models of technology adoption.

Suggested Citation

  • Fishman, Ram & Smith, Stephen C. & Bobic, Vida & Sulaiman, Munshi, 2017. "How Sustainable Are Benefits from Extension for Smallholder Farmers? Evidence from a Randomized Phase-Out of the BRAC Program in Uganda," IZA Discussion Papers 10641, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10641
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    agricultural extension; agricultural technology adoption; food security; supply chain; subsidies; randomized phase-out; Uganda;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets

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